During the presidential debates, I would joke on Twitter about how many times we were likely to hear President Obama say the phrases “fair shot” and “fair share.” Needless to say, I lost count.
One thing became clear: Our President was determined to get public opinion on his side when it came to the tax argument, to convince voters that he was looking out for middle-income Americans by making “the rich” pay their “fair share.” He repeated it over and over, drilling into the minds of many that he was the guy who could be trusted to fight for the needs of regular people.
A majority of Americans would blame congressional Republicans if Washington fails to reach a deal in deficit talks to avoid the “fiscal cliff,” according to a new poll.
A Washington Post-Pew Research survey released Tuesday finds that 53 percent said they would blame Republicans, while 27 percent said President Obama would be at fault. Twelve percent said the blame should be divided equally between the two sides.
In other words, Obama managed to successfully use class warfare to 1) dismantle the GOP’s legitimate tax argument that no-one should have their taxes raised during a time of economic distress 2) falsely define “the rich” as millionaires and billionaires when we’re really talking about household incomes of $250,000 a year or more and 3) see to it that the public blames Republicans for any standstill emerging from the GOP not caving to Obama’s tax-hike wishes.
That’s what I call great campaigning. And it’s not over. The Examiner reports:
Aiming to bring public pressure on Republicans to back higher taxes for the rich in the “fiscal cliff” fight, the Obama-Biden campaign today began urging supporters to join a local, online phone bank to help the president blast the GOP.
In an email, supporters are directed to a “Call Tool” where they are provided with somebody to call. Included is a telemarketing-style script to read.
The GOP had the right policy on taxes–as did Mitt Romney–but if you don’t take your case to the people via consistently smart marketing, you lose.
President Obama will handle the issues of entitlement reform and spending the same way he handled taxes. He will aggressively and creatively market bad policy, attempting to convince middle-income Americans that Republicans are small-government ideologues who don’t care about the poor and needy.
What will GOP leadership do? Will they sit by quietly as they did through the tax debate? Will they cave on every important issue hoping that a more compromise-friendly Obama emerges? Will they abandon everything the party is supposed to stand for because it’s too much work to market your ideas?
I can’t answer those questions for you. What I can tell you is that the GOP has a big marketing problem and they have for a long time. Until they realize the importance of coupling good policy with good messaging, quality messengers, and solid outreach, they will continue to give Obama the upper hand.